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The first

said, you must be a man as much as you want it

then offered a glass of water

which is to say, have I not baptized you enough?

The second

will know nothing of your face

but of how low your head can bow

how open your mouth can crucify

The third

is Lazarus

speaks only of what he can see

there is no God in that

The fourth

an accent

eyes the shade of Eden

need I remind you how

that chapter ends?

The fifth

a blonde-haired


hands like goliath

will toss you


he does not believe in your Christ,

but you are still pretty

for a black girl

The sixth

a dancer

will know

he is the age of


At the cross

But will still

Make a resurrection

Out of you

The seventh

Will kiss you

Only after

He's allowed his


Work to rest

On your face

And your chest

The eighth

Is the driest valley

Of lonely

Your bones has ever

Laid with

The ninth

A Lower-east side

Bar shot

The reason

You do not call home

What has no welcome mat

The tenth

Will ask if you are clean

The eleventh

Will try to unlearn your scripture

Leg by leg

Lip by lip

The twelfth

Is a rooftop

In Brooklyn

Is a bypassing thunderstorm

In Brooklyn

Is a hand-job in Brooklyn

The thirteenth

Is a rusty fence boy

Is a trap door

Is the one who will tell you,

You do not love yourself

13 is the number of men

you've allowed to wound your human

with their horns

It is fornication disguised as forgiveness

which means you swallowed 13 men in two months

when you mistook night for lonely

but it is all blasphemy

it is all reason to forget

your mother gave birth to you under sun and sin

so your throat is just a canal

just an ark

your skin so night

so animal

it is a lust fist

it is the daughter of Delilah you are

and have always been

13 is one more disciple

you've allowed to holy bible spread you

none of them black

they will want to read you

and convince their bodies

it walks on water

but it is all blasphemy

It is one more who has ransacked

your gospel before reading it

Making you another

this is the first time

I've slept with a black girl


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